limiting military pay increases which effectively decreases troop's salaries. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr's got the details. barbara, what's going on? >> you know, wolf, here in washington, nothing can be more sensitive than pay for america's armed forces, but the troops are looking at being caught right in the middle of it all. >> thank you, sir. >> reporter: the troops usually are happy to see defense secretary panetta, smiles and handshakes all around. but days before he leaves office, panetta has bad news. he's proposing less money in their paycheck next year. panetta, a savvy washington operative in budget politics, is leaving it to congress to figure out how not to cut pay and keep thousands of defense employees on the job. >> we will furlough as many as 800,000 dod civilians around the country for up to 22 days. they could face a 20% cut in their salary. don't think that's going to impact on our economy? >> reporter: the recommendation to slow the military pay raise will put troops in the middle of that political fight between congress and the president over spending.